“At the moment we’ve got 16 first team players. My initials stand for Mick McCarthy, not Merlin the Magician.” Said Mick McCarthy after taking over at Wolves from Glenn Hoddle in 2006.
The bonus of having a Mick McCarthy quote in my blog means I will get at least seven views on this post. Paul WME is contractually obliged to comment on all things Wolves whilst Martin and Hermit, being from Sheffield and Rotherham respectively, can look on enviously at McCarthy’s Barnsley roots as THE tourist area in Sheffield. Marty Bear, the Travelling Barman and Carl will also feel obliged to vent anti Wolves spleen whilst Russ will think Merlin the Magician has some subversive meaning related to Finbarr Saunders.
Anyway, I digress…McCarthy may well have been a magician at Molineux as he guided Wolves to the Premier League with his small squad and I reckon Derby fans would love some no nonsense Barnsley wizardry at present.
Living in Derby I am besieged by stressed out Rams fans who fear the drop into Division Three (pre 1992). Although last week’s defeat against Birmingham’s biggest club surely came as no surprise.
(lacings with my beer please)
If they lose their last two games there is a real possibility that Pride Park will be hosting the likes of Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town and even Leon’s Tranmere Rovers and The Wickingman’s Burton Albion.
But the only sign of any magic in Derby at present is the moniker of 619 – The Merlin DE24 8XL on a business park overlooking Derby’s impressive stadium.
It’s one of those new build types with a view of the ground and the Velodrome (shades of Birmingham Library) from the beer garden.
When I popped in for a pint at just after 6 on a Thursday I was amazed at how full it was.
In fact, since we’ve come out of lockdown I’ve not been in a pub on my own despite the fact this was Baltic and it looks like punters are voting with their feet.
Maybe it is the fact there are less pubs open? I don’t know but apart from the fact I haven’t seen a beermat, pubs are feeling decidedly retro at the minute.
Take this place for instance; no need to book just rock up and zap your app and the friendly, helpful barmaid took me to a table.
We spoke about the app but after a minute of faffing I just said “I just want a pint of Green King IPA,” (possibly for the first time ever!).
(it’s cold but I’m out, out, out..)
She laughed and said no problem and brought it over as quick as Derby’s plummet down the league table. There are lots of smokers at present with beer gardens the only option and I think that is why it feels so reassuringly eighties/nineties in pubs.
Throw into the mix loads of friendly punters, blokes in jogging flannels, no socks and shoes, as well as couples so excited about returning to the pub they go from this
…to this after just one pint of Greene King IPA…
then it really might be magic at The Merlin.
Surprisingly pubby and the closest boozer (of sorts) to Derby’s ground, this place attracts lots of Hi Viz jackets and workers from the vast business park…
#Savepubs #pubsareback and if there are around 50 punters in a Hungry Horse pub on a Thursday night then these are heady times indeed.